March-April 2015Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources

Theory of Mind and Simulated Experience


Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of both teaching and entertainment. It is the way history was traditionally recorded, how values were inculcated, and how families and neighborhoods bonded.


Storytelling is the core around which Cultural Detective is based. While the Cultural Detective Method is grounded in extensive intercultural theory, using Cultural Detective for development, learning, conflict resolution or team building involves listening to, telling, reading, or otherwise interacting with stories, or, in detective parlance, incidents.


The debut of Cultural Detective The Netherlands involved a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception in Amsterdam, during which professionals acted out critical incidents for those attending. Trainers have turned their training rooms into theaters, acting out the stories in the Cultural Detective series with the learners. Why so much emphasis on stories?


View video and research

SIETAR Europa Profiles CD Founder



The March-May 2015 issue of the SIETAR Europa Journal is out today. Pari Namazie conducted a lengthy interview with Dianne when she was last in Vienna, and it is published in the journal on pages 3-9.


Dianne says she finds it flattering, embarrassing, encouraging and mortifying, all at the same time, to be profiled in this way. Many thanks to Pari and Patrick Schmidt, editor of the Journal. Perhaps it will give you insight into some of the experience that has contributed to forming Cultural Detective.


Also included in the Journal is Dianne's archived training material on culture shock and cross-cultural transitions.

 Read the interview

Intercultural Effectiveness Development Opportunities 

The SIETAR Europa conference May 21-23 is the leading gathering of interculturalists in Europe, and is attended by many professionals from around the world. Cultural Detective authors will provide several excellent professional development opportunities in conjunction with SIETAR Europa, including certification.


Offered as part of the Summer Institute of the International Educators' Training Program (IETP) at Queen's University, this workshop is a perfect professional development opportunity for educators! Our certifications include a one-month subscription to Cultural Detective Online and 10% discount on product licensing.

Take this opportunity to participate in a workshop at SIIC, the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, the world's leading training ground for interculturalists, AND in a Cultural Detective Facilitator Certification. Take advantage of two incredible professional development opportunities in one!


 Click here for CD-SIIC registration and details  

When In Rome


Shall we, as team members or neighbors, do something "my way" or "your way"? When in Rome, do we do as the Romans do, or as headquarters wants us to do? As organizational effectiveness consultants, diversity and inclusion practitioners, or as intercultural trainers, educators and coaches, so much of what we do is to help people learn to manage differences. 


"Either-or" thinking is appropriate when there are answers that are independently correct. Do we need to get to the top of the mountain? A helicopter, hiking, tram, or driving are all possible "correct" solutions to our problem. What shall we eat for our lunch together? We both may enjoy sushi, tacos, or lasagna; a choice is probably much better than eating them all in the same meal. 


  Full article here

Fox Apologizes for Errors and Bias



Inaccuracies in journalism are of increasing concern to me, as is the idea that so many consumers of communication media fail to use their critical thinking skills, and, rather, believe a sensational report without checking facts. Journalists can easily fuel people's worst fears, feeding an "us vs. them" mentality. I spoke about this in my recent Charlie Hedbo post. 


If we are to create a world for ourselves in which we respect, understand, and value one another, one in which we are able to cooperate in sustainable ways, we need accurate and thorough information on which to base decisions. We need to be able to discern "gray" areas, and think things through from different perspective.


 Complete story

Online Events You Can't Miss


Our complimentary, 90 minute online workshops feature Dianne, creator of our series, or select Cultural Detective authors. They are designed to help participants learn to appreciate and leverage diversity as an asset, rather than seeking to minimize differences.

Check out our full online learning schedule, or click directly to information and registration for one of the following:
Online Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 07:30 PM (GMT-6) 
Monday, April 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 1:30 AM (GMT-6)
Finding Gems in Our Daily Life
by Kathryn Stillings




I so love proverbs: they give a view into a culture that cannot be obtained through any other source. They are tiny stories, gems in the midst of daily life. Although often I only read them in translation, they still provide valuable insight into my own and other's values and worldviews.

Imagine my delight when I found a collection of African proverbs, contributed by folks from all over, to a site by BBC NEWS Africa. Featuring proverbs sent in during January 2015 and December 2014, I think you will find at least one that delights you or provides fresh insight into a situation.


Did you know that contained within each Cultural Detective package are proverbs and sayings to illustrate the culture's core values? We periodically convert some of these to graphic format and share them on social media, archiving them on the Cultural Detective Pinterest board and Facebook page. Our authors have fun remembering what their parents or grandparents said to them, and often are surprised when they find out they were each told the same thing-or a close variant of it-even though they grew up in different circumstances!


 Read the story

Open Street Map Project



Many of us, myself included, take accurate street maps for granted. Although we know services such as Google Maps can be wrong, generally our GPS or satnav will get us to where we want to go. But in many less affluent, large cities of the world, no maps exist.


An article I read in The Guardian recounted the difficulties that Médecins Sans Frontičres (MSF) has encountered in working with patients from areas that weren't mapped. It is hard to trace the spread of a disease if there is no map of the area, or if patients can't tell you where they live.


More information 

"Blue" Didn't Exist Till Modern Times


This is an excellent article on how our language and culture affect what we see and notice, and what we don't. Powerful stuff! 




  Check it out!

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We record the latest news updates, and have archived past issues of this newsletter, on one of our web pages. Past issues include instructions for interesting activities, theoretical discussions about intercultural issues, and links to many intercultural resources. Please take a look and enjoy the resources you find!

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Vanessa G. Hernández